Josip Diminić was born in Sv Lovreč Labinski (Diminići) in 1937. He attended the five-year Applied Arts School, after which he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts. He took his BFA in painting in the class of Marin Tartaglia in 1963.
From 1966 to 1969, as well as painting, he was very much involved in ceramics and ceramic sculpture. He is one of the founders of the Ars Histriae exhibition. In 1970 he was appointed secretary of the expert council of the Mediterranean Sculpture Symposium in Dubrova near Labin, which was founded in 1969 according to Diminić’s ideas, and which soon became an international even to be reckoned with, today having all the conditions to become the first museum of open air sculpture.
Since the 1970s he has been constantly involved in sculpture. As well as in stone, he works in coloured fibreglass and wood. He is a full professor at the fine arts department of the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka. As teacher of this faculty, he endeavours to get our students working as collaborators in the Mediterranean Sculpture Symposium, learning to carve stone and organising their work in sculptures in stone and wood.
As a sculptor, he has himself had more than 80 individual and about 250 collective shows. He has illustrated a number of well reviewed books of leading Croatian poets, and has authored 11 print albums. From 1975 to 1984 he was a member of the distinguished group of authors of the Forum Gallery in Zagreb.
His sabbaticals in Holland and China have been particularly fruitful, for he has created new cycles there - the Dutch and Chinese Travelogues and Impressions.
He is the author of the sculpture Cyclops, an annual prize that is awarded at the Pula Book Fair for the best literary work of the year.
A frequent motif in his works, ever since childhood, has been birds and men-birds, in the author’s words, freedom symbols. It was from his idea that the White Road developed, which leads through the Mediterranean Sculpture Symposium, i.e., a sculpture park, made in stone, and the work of a group of leading artists (each artist has a way of approaching his own section, 25 metres long). In 1999 Diminić became a member of the AAIAA, International Art Addiction Association, Sweden (Stockholm) and Italy (Venice). Diminić’s life work is the foundation of the Mediterranean Sculpture Symposium on an area of 4,000 square metres, with 80 sculptures of outstanding world and domestic sculptures; his most monumental sculptural work must be the amphitheatre that he built in the Symposium in Dubrova.
For his artistic work, he has received 18 different prizes and awards.
NB. Data taken from the questionnaire, material taken from the Personnel Archives of the MDC, and from an interview recorded on November 11, 2002.
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